What is behind the dip in Tory poll numbers?
At a press event today, Peter Kellner of YouGov explained that Bullygate, Ashcroftgate and Lobbygate made no discernible difference to the polls. The response of voters was: ‘so what?’
He put the Tory decline down to two other factors.
First, the economy has noticeably picked up but people sense it is a fragile recovery. It has brought out a defensive instinct and raised the perceived risks of change.
Second, voters are less convinced by Cameron and Osborne. As the chart above shows, Cameron’s ratings have been in slow but steady decline since October.
Earlier this week just 30 per cent of respondents thought he would make the best prime minister — the lowest level since February 2008. It’s hard to pinpoint what turned people off. But given the Tories opened this year with a nationwide campaign focussed on Cameron, this trend will be worrying.